Home Forums Main Forum Bloomberg Substitute Thread

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  • Curve Advisor
    Keymaster
    Post count: 612
    #1595 |

    From my time at JPM, I grew heavily dependent on my Bloomberg. I spend most of my time looking at my spreadsheets, but the spreadsheets had real-time feeds from Bloomberg. I also used Bloomberg for historical data, for charts, for news, for economic data, for economic releases, for chats, and for email. So when I started the Curve Advisor, it was only natural that I subscribed. However, it did not take me long to realize that I was basically lighting money on fire to get this $2000/mo system that I didn’t really need any more. One of the great things about the internet is the availability of an inordinate amount of information and services for little or no cost. In the balance of this thread, I will discuss various sources of information that you might consider adding to your routine, for the various features of Bloomberg.

  • Curve Advisor
    Keymaster
    Post count: 612

    The most important use of Bloomberg is for data – current and past. But most of their data is not proprietary. So you can get it from various sources:

    * CME – you can just get live data feeds from the CME for a fraction of the cost of a Bloomberg terminal. If you think about it, Bloomberg is just an intermediary. You are basically paying a hefty mark-up for their interface (which isn’t particularly great). You can also get historical data, as well as analytics direct from the CME. You can also get the prices to feed into a spreadsheet. They charge small fees for various features, or if you open an account, you may be eligible to get some features for no cost.

    * Your trading software package may have some data export features.

    I’m not saying there isn’t a convenience factor involved in using Bloomberg data. However, when most of your work is done in spreadsheets anyway, is the terminal really necessary?

  • Curve Advisor
    Keymaster
    Post count: 612

    Here are some sources that I like for historical data on various topics:

    * QUANDL.COM: It’s really amazing that you can get historical data on many STIR futures for free. I have not made use of it (yet), but it a really good resource to have. And I believe you can link the data to your spreadsheet. When I start looking at ER or BA futures, this is probably where I will go for the data.

    * FRED: The St Louis Fed has a database of economic and financial indicators. https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/ You can chart it or just download the data. And it’s all free. I recently needed to look at CCC yield spreads, and it was there.

    * TRADINGECONOMICS.COM: Sometimes, I need to get a snapshot of what has been going on in other countries. Since I do not look at other markets that regularly, it’s nice to have a organized place where I can see relevant economic and financial data on another country. I recently looked at Austrian employment trends – you just click “Australia”and you get a nice summary of all the major data.

    This list is a work-in-progress.

  • Curve Advisor
    Keymaster
    Post count: 612

    What do I like to read for news?

    * WALL ST JOURNAL. I look through this from cover to cover. I think it is the best source of news, period. In particular, I like the live blog during Fed days. I like hearing everything Yellen has to say during her press conferences, but in case I miss anything, the Cliff’s Notes are right there.

    However, it’s not that timely. If the markets move a lot, how do I find out what is going on? I have a “traditional” source, and a “non-traditional” source:

    * BLOOMBERG.COM. I suppose I just got used to looking at Bloomberg for news. The new web layout is a bit annoying with the gigantic photos, but such is life.

    * ZEROHEDGE.COM. Don’t laugh. A client actually got me hooked on this. First of all, let me say that 2/3 of the articles are either crap or borderline crap. But if you can figure out how to just cull the relevant information, this is a great source of news. They must have a large staff, because they seem to come out with reasonably timely commentary. If anything in equities, fixed income, currencies or commodities moves, there is usually something out relatively quickly. Some of the things I like – they have a end-of-day technical summary of what occurred in the markets. From time to time, they will also discuss what the various bank economists are thinking. And on Fed days, I like the blacklined statement (so you can see what the changes are). And for some reason, the photo of the unicorn meat cracks me up.

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